DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all,

There's a triple-gang old-work blue plastic box in my kitchen that is populated with three duplex receptacles, each on a separate 20 AMP circuit breaker. (Two of them are actually on a shared tandem breaker. And yes, it's a CTL tandem breaker in a CTL panel installed in the proper place - I checked! :))

Is there anything special I need to da because there are three circuits in this box? I've read that the handles of the breakers should be tied together so that any future workers will know to throw them all at once.

BUT, I've been told at my local electric supply this is a bad idea. The idea was that if there is a fault on any of the three circuits, that breaker isn't strong enough to throw the other two, and, in fact, the other two could keep the breaker with the fault from tripping - keeping the circuit energized.

I notice that this blue box has slots for dividers, but a quick search only shows dividers for "low voltage" applications.

So - what's the proper procedure here? Are things fine as they are, or do I need to do something else?

Thanks,
Jim
 

·
E2 Electrician
Joined
·
5,655 Posts
Howdy all,

There's a triple-gang old-work blue plastic box in my kitchen that is populated with three duplex receptacles, each on a separate 20 AMP circuit breaker. (Two of them are actually on a shared tandem breaker. And yes, it's a CTL tandem breaker in a CTL panel installed in the proper place - I checked! :))

Is there anything special I need to da because there are three circuits in this box? I've read that the handles of the breakers should be tied together so that any future workers will know to throw them all at once.

BUT, I've been told at my local electric supply this is a bad idea. The idea was that if there is a fault on any of the three circuits, that breaker isn't strong enough to throw the other two, and, in fact, the other two could keep the breaker with the fault from tripping - keeping the circuit energized.

I notice that this blue box has slots for dividers, but a quick search only shows dividers for "low voltage" applications.

So - what's the proper procedure here? Are things fine as they are, or do I need to do something else?

Thanks,
Jim
Don't listen to your local supply for one...

You would only need handle ties if the outlets are supplied from a multi wire branch circuit, if you have physically 3 separate cables run to this box, then do nothing, its fine as is.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,874 Posts
Since you do not have a mwbc, just tie the grounds together and forget doing anything special with the breakers.

BTW, the breakers will trip even if you lock them to the on position.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andrew79

·
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
All modern breakers are required to "trip free" to be UL listed, so the internal trip mechanism doesn't rely on the handle moving at all. You are not required to use handle ties, but it wouldn't hurt if you do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stickboy1375

·
Master Electrician
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
simanco said:
Howdy all,

There's a triple-gang old-work blue plastic box in my kitchen that is populated with three duplex receptacles, each on a separate 20 AMP circuit breaker. (Two of them are actually on a shared tandem breaker. And yes, it's a CTL tandem breaker in a CTL panel installed in the proper place - I checked! :))

Is there anything special I need to da because there are three circuits in this box? I've read that the handles of the breakers should be tied together so that any future workers will know to throw them all at once.

BUT, I've been told at my local electric supply this is a bad idea. The idea was that if there is a fault on any of the three circuits, that breaker isn't strong enough to throw the other two, and, in fact, the other two could keep the breaker with the fault from tripping - keeping the circuit energized.

I notice that this blue box has slots for dividers, but a quick search only shows dividers for "low voltage" applications.

So - what's the proper procedure here? Are things fine as they are, or do I need to do something else?

Thanks,
Jim
Any future workers should know enough about electrical to insure they're all off regardless of a breaker tie or else they shouldn't be doing electrical. The only thing that needs breaker ties up here is 240v loads. Not sure about the mwbc but I don't think it does. Although I'm used to working with shared neutrals so I'm always testing for neutral voltage anyway.
 

·
E2 Electrician
Joined
·
5,655 Posts
Any future workers should know enough about electrical to insure they're all off regardless of a breaker tie or else they shouldn't be doing electrical. The only thing that needs breaker ties up here is 240v loads. Not sure about the mwbc but I don't think it does. Although I'm used to working with shared neutrals so I'm always testing for neutral voltage anyway.
Yep, we get screwed on this one, MWBC now require handle ties... which can be a real joy when you have to shut down two or three circuits instead of just one.:whistling2:
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top